Carroll Baker, Walter Brennan, Lee J. Cobb ...
That’s just the beginning of the list.
It goes on from there.
These are just some of the stars of the 1962 blockbuster epic, “How the West was Won.”
It was a tremendous hit when it came out, shot in the three-strip Cinerama process, which required a special theater to be shown in its full wide, wide, wide screen glory.
Andy Devine, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones ...
It was done for a lot of reasons, but one of them was that it was a reaction to the intrusion of television in the motion picture industry.
The makers were providing something you could not get on TV — scope, grandeur, size.
They were also providing more than just a larger canvass. They were also providing a bigger story than was available in that era before the mini-series.
And they succeeded in their venture, as they came away from the Oscars with awards for best writing, editing, and sound.
The movie was also nominated for several more.
Karl Malden, Harry Morgan Gregory Peck ...
Suffice to say it was a hit.
However in a turn of irony that would be lost on most of today’s TV writers, most people today have only seen the movie on the tube.
Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of modern movie makers, the film is finally available in letter box, which means you can see all of it, not just the third that TV used to show.
For a long time, when you watched “How the West was Won” on TV you’d only see the right, left or middle third of the image on your home tube.
TV producers figured that’s all you really needed. They switch back and forth to show you the part of the film they wanted you to see.
Rather than just create letter boxing themselves, these network suits butchered one of the great motion pictures of all time for their convenience.
George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds ...
The point is, TV moguls have long since shown they have little interest in the integrity of any art form.
Now it’s been announced that Warner Brothers has struck a deal that keeps DVDs of its new movies off one of the most popular movie forums for twice its previous period.
Warner had been releasing movies on Netflix in 28 days after they were offered for sale.
Now that is being altered to 56, with an agreement to keep the costs low, according to the Associated Press.
All of this messing with what is being offered to the viewing public is just another step towards the ultimate loss of the motion picture industry as the public is stepped over by everyone who is trying to cash in on this industry.
James Stewart, Eli Wallach, John Wayne ...
The problem is — and current TV and movie bosses might want to keep this in mid — “How the West was Won” didn’t work.
Despite the great cast, huge vistas, mega-movie story, the film still didn’t stop people from staying home and watching the tube.
Service and convenience are important commodities in today’s market and forcing viewers to wait an extra month to watch a DVD release may well push more of the public towards TV and away from the movies.
That would be bad.
— Chuck Smith